University Of Cincinnati Sever Ties With Slave Owner Charles McMicken

Their board of trustees unanimously voted to rename campus spaces tied to the founder.

Board of trustee members at the University of Cincinnati unanimously vote to remove its founder’s name (Charles McMicken) from campus spaces.

McMicken was a slave owner who fathered children with women he enslaved.

According to, the decision to rename different sectors on the campus came Tuesday morning (June 28) during a board meeting, as recommended by the university’s president, Neville Pinto.

In 2019, Pinto advised a group of university officials, professors, current students, and alumni to meet and take a deeper look at the way the university used McMicken’s name and legacy. Pinto called for the removal of McMicken’s name from the College of Arts and Science in 2019, in which the board unanimously approved.

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Additionally, McMicken’s name will be removed from their iconic McMicken Hall, McMicken Commons, McMicken Circle, and Mick & Mack’s Contemporary Café.

"The prominence of McMicken’s name on campus, and the symbolism of exclusion it represents, is holding us back from creating and sustaining a full sense of belonging for all," Pinto said Tuesday.

They found that McMicken’s donation of money and land to build the university in the late 1800s for the education of white Boys and Girls," represents a failure on behalf of the university to “commit fully to the principles of diversity and inclusion that it professes” and goes against their “academic values.”

During conversations on June 28 with the campus community UC’s student body President, Isaac Smitherman, confirmed that Black students didn’t find comfort on campus.

Smitherman says it will take collaboration and additional work with university leaders to make sure the step in the right direction continues.

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